This puts it in proper perspective and makes it more understandable.
This cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get...........
Food for thought..... This puts it into a much better perspective and is the same for many countries in Europe ...
Why the U.S. has been downgraded:
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $16,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $162,710
* Total budget cuts: $385
Hope you get the point. If you do not, you soon will because you will have no more credit.
Something else to think about. More figures but this time they relate to age and prospective Supreme Court appointments if Obama is reelected:
" SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Just keep four things in mind: Justice Scalia just turned 78, Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year, Justice Breyer will be 76 in August, and Justice Ginsburg turned 81 about a week ago.
We wish them all well, of course, but the brute fact is that whoever we elect as president in November is almost certainly going to choose at least one and maybe more new members of the Supreme Court -- in addition to hundreds of other life-tenured federal judges, all of whom will be making momentous decisions about our lives for decades to come. If you don't think it matters whether the guy making those calls is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I think you're smokin' something funky." --columnist Andrew McCarthy"
More to think about. I gradated from law school, made law review but never wanted to become a lawyer. My goal was to help people create wealth and keep it if possible. (See 1 below.)
Now let's have a look at voter fraud. I had to show ID this morning wen I went for an annual urological exam
When I tell you Democrats, and most particularly Soros, Obama and Holder, intend to engage in enabling voter fraud believe me: "Holy freaking cow. Take a minute and watch this video. No need for voter IDs!
Dennis Prager is some one worth listening to, as well:
Subject: The greatest fight in America's history.
Dennis Prager at the University of Denver.
Editing to suit one's agenda has become a common place occurrence among our fiends in the Liberal media and press world.
Subsequent events now indicate a bias and a willingness to edit and paint a different picture of the recent killing in Sanford.
Intimidated silence is generally the Conservative response when such events occur for fear of being branded racially motivated,branded a bigot etc. This is what the three stooges intend - Jackson, Sharpton and Obama. Silence permits their version to become embedded in the public mind set and eventual revelations have to climb mountains to reverse that initial impression.
Same thing is true when a person goes for an interview - the initial impression carries disproportionate weight, often the determining weight.
Rush to judgement is not always a good thing and as our media and news types become more and more distrustful and our president quick to play political poker with race cards the negative effect on our society will only mount. We now apparently have racially motivated killings in another city know for a history of strife between its citizens. This is happening on the watch of a president who said he would unite us and then has proceeded to divide us.(See 2,2a and 2b below.)
Can even the Israelis trust Netanyahu vis a vis Iran's enrichment program?
Obviously efforts are afoot to allow Iran to retain much of its nuclear program, come to the negotiating table and also allow Obama to declare a victory before the election.
History shows Iran knows how to effectively stall and manipulate and Obama knows how to fold his cards. Perhaps Netanyahu is willing to let this scenario play out and then will act. Time will tell. (See 3, 3a and 3b below.)
Professor Walter Mead puts the claim of America's decline in perspective and makes the case the U.S is in transition from a trilateral system that served us well to an evolving new alliance system that still leaves America an influential force.
I have written much the same and made the analogy of a student that lived alone in his freshman year and then moved into a dorm with roommates. The question for America is that if we do not lead from strength our role in the new dorm will be significantly compromised and this, Mead does not seem to deal with as I believe he must to be credible. This is why I believe four more years of Obama will be extraordinarily detrimental to any future system in which we participate . (See 4 below.)
1)The Lawyers' Party
By Bruce Walker
The Democratic Party has become the Lawyers Party .
Barack Obama is a lawyer.......
Michelle Obama is a lawyer.......
Hillary Clinton is a lawyer..
Bill Clinton is a lawyer.
John Ed wards is a lawyer.
Elizabeth Edwards was a lawyer.
Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Al Gore did not graduate).
Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school.
Look at leaders of the Democrat Party in Congress:
Harry Reid is a lawyer.
Nancy Pelosi is a lawyer.
The Republican Party is somewhat different.
President Bush was a businessman.
Vice President Cheney is a businessman.
The leaders of the Republican Revolution:
Newt Gingrich was a history professor.
Tom Delay was an exterminator.
Dick Armey was an economist.
House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastics manufacturer.
The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.
Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers. The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers.
Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich. The Lawyers Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America . And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers Party, grow.
Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail? Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.
This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers.
Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people. Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side. Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.
When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming.
Some Americans become adverse parties of our very government. We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit.
We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.
Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big.
When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.
We cannot expect the Lawyers Party to provide real change, real reform or real hope in America . Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789. Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders. Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.
Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business.
Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work. Perhaps, hopefully Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.
The United States has 5% of the world's population and 66% of the world's lawyers!
Tort (Legal) reform legislation has been introduced in congress several times in the last several years to limit punitive damages in ridiculous lawsuits such as spilling hot coffee on yourself and suing the establishment that sold it to you and also to limit punitive damages in huge medical malpractice lawsuits. This legislation has continually been blocked from even being voted on by the Democrat Party.
When you see that 97% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association goes to the Democrat Party, then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high!
2)Ditgate, Spittlegate, and the Left's 'Race-Gating' Tradition
By Jack Cashill
The phrase "Editgate" established itself virtually overnight. It fit so well. This useful compound merges "edit," in reference to NBC's incendiary editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call, and "gate," the catch-all suffix used to describe a corrupt mess of deception and obfuscation. Already "Editgate" is being used more expansively to include other distortions in the Trayvon Martin case, including ABC's compression of the police videotape to obscure Zimmerman's head wound and CNN's absurdly imaginative translation of the Zimmerman word "cold" into the nearly archaic "coons."
Together, these three deceptions -- and there will be more -- have established Editgate as the most consequential high-level fraud in the left's long history of what might be called "race-gating." By this, I mean the purposeful media corruption of a racially oriented story.
The media's willingness to lie for the cause should shock no one to the right of Bill Ayers. What is particularly troubling about Editgate is that the major media, which once served as a firewall against fraud, now seem eager accomplices in its commission.
"Spittlegate" is a case in point. In March 2010, the media conspired with the Congressional Black Caucus to portray a group of well-behaved Tea Partiers protesting ObamaCare as a veritable lynch mob.
To be sure, the alternative media deconstructed the incident to show that no one had used a racial slur as charged, let alone spit on a congressman. No matter. The mainstream media let the original story -- "Tea Party Protestors Scream 'Nigger' at Congressman" -- stand as reported. As a result, the racial wound the media opened has continued to fester.
True to the "Gate" legacy, there has been little hint of apology in the "clarifications" the Editgate networks have offered. ABC, for instance, finally did produce an enhanced video to show Zimmerman's two head wounds, but, incredibly, it headlined that story, "George Zimmerman Video Shows Little Evidence of a Broken Nose, Doctor Claims."
After cleaning up the audio of the 911 call, CNN's Gary Tuchman now only concedes, "It does sound less like that racial slur." In fact, it sounds nothing like a racial slur, and it never did. One hears a long "o" sound as in "cold" -- it was raining and 63 degrees -- not an "oo" sound.
Although the level of media complicity is unprecedented, the style of attack is nearly a century old. The left's first major exploitation of a criminal case can be traced to about 1925, when the newly ascendant Josef Stalin directed his international propaganda arm, the Comintern, to discredit the idea of the American dream.
The Comintern found its poster boys in convicted murderers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, both foreign-born Italians. The two had been arrested for robbery and murder in 1920 and tried before the jurors even knew that they were radicals. As the appeals process dragged on, the Comintern directed its various front groups to fabricate new facts and create a worldwide myth around the pair's presumed innocence. Almost immediately, "spontaneous" protests sprang up throughout Europe.
Rather than dictating media response, the Comintern preferred to create theater and allow the actors to find their way to the parts. The casting call for the Sacco and Vanzetti protests attracted a who's-who of literary leading lights. Prominent American authors Upton Sinclair, Katherine Ann Porter, John Dos Passos, and Edna St. Vincent Millay not only protested the seeming injustice, but also created literary works around it.
Each of the progressive authors who wrote about the Sacco and Vanzetti case began his or her work with the a priori assumption that the pair was innocent and, as today, ignored all evidence that contradicted that thesis.
As the August 1927 execution date approached, the Comintern whipped up rallies and riots. On the night of the execution, August 22, an outpouring of rage and grief swept the world and left common sense buried in its wake. The French Communist daily Humanité published an extra edition with one word on the front cover: Assassinés.
As the final hours ticked down, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Ann Porter stood vigil with other artists and writers in Boston. Ever the innocent liberal, Porter approached her group leader, a "fanatical little woman" and a dogmatic Communist, and expressed her hope that Sacco and Vanzetti could still be saved. The response of this female comrade is noteworthy for its candor:
"Saved," she said, ringing a change on her favorite answer to political illiteracy, "who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?"
Sacco and Vanzetti were the first in a long line of ethnics whose exploitability interested the left more than their innocence. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt, and Mumia Abu-Jamal, like Sacco and Vanzetti, were all convicted of their crimes, but the evidence mattered little to those who wanted to spank America before the world.
With the passing of the Comintern, America's homegrown radicals picked up the playbook and directed their own game plans. Thinking anti-racism a more viable strategy than revolution, they expanded the definition of racism to include more behaviors against more groups, requiring more and more invasive remedies. Among those remedies, as George Zimmerman has learned the hard way, is that old Stalinist standby, "ritual defamation."
To be sure, there is a curious selectivity about who gets defamed. On March 15, 2012, just a few days before the story of Trayvon Martin's killing in Florida became a national sensation, Jose Carranza, 32, was quietly sentenced to 155 years in prison for brutally executing three innocent black college students in a Newark, New Jersey playground.
Like George Zimmerman, Carranza is of Peruvian descent. Ironically, what protected Carranza was the fact that he was "undocumented." The headline "Illegal Alien Kills Black Innocents" appealed to no one in the Media-Democrat complex. In the leftist narrative, one that Stalin himself could have written, illegals are victims of America, not the villains.
Twenty years prior, the decision-makers in that complex had even less use for a headline that read, "Clinton Tank Attack on Religious Community Kills 26 Blacks, 13 Other Minorities." So they fully suppressed the race angle. I doubt if even Al Sharpton knows that most of those killed at Waco were minorities.
In 2007, Syracuse University commemorated the eightieth anniversary of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti as a way of highlighting, in its own words, "not only the creative response to the perceived injustice of the prosecution and sentence, but also the decades of continuing protest over what Katherine Anne Porter described as 'the never-ending wrong.'"
No matter what the evidence says about George Zimmerman, in the minds of the faithful, his exoneration will remain a "never-ending wrong." And this time, the "wronged" will not satisfy themselves with attending exhibits at Syracuse University.
2a)The Story Unravels: New Questions about Trayvon Martin's Final Hour
By Jeff Lipkes
It was a fable for our times:
Once upon a time, a nice young man set off from his dad's fiancée's home before the NBA All-Star game to buy some Skittles and Arizona Tea for his stepbrother. Although the lad was seventeen, he looked like a cute twelve-year-old. Along came a burly ex-con racist vigilante who didn't like the idea of a young African-American male walking around his gated community at night. The cop-wannabe stalked the frightened boy, cornered him, and then shot him. But the racist police didn't arrest the murderer. The conscience of the nation was stirred. Protests erupted from coast to coast. The gunning down of young, unarmed black males by white Rambos -- and the occasional "white Hispanic" -- is an all-too-common occurrence in the US of A.
Now the MSM narrative is unraveling, thanks to Al Gore's nifty invention, the internet. The average MSNBC viewer may not have the smarts and curiosity to do a Google search, but other people do. A lot of the searches wind up at the sites of the Orlando Sentinel and the city's Fox affiliate, Channel 35, both of which have provided good coverage.
Now other local papers are running stories about the "complexity" of the case.
We've learned a little more about Trayvon Martin. Since his record of suspensions and his posts and pictures, with tats and grill, from his Myspace and Twitter accounts surfaced on the web, columnists are less likely to enthuse about him, as a WaPo blogger did on March 18:
By all accounts, Trayvon was a good kid[.] ... He had dreams of becoming a pilot. He was good at math. ... Trayvon's English teacher described him "as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness."
"So what?" the left responds. The fact that he "experimented" with marijuana at a school with zero tolerance -- and maybe experimented with burglary -- and was intrigued by gangsta argot and gangsta values -- has no bearing on the events of February 26. But of course it does. We are being asked to chose between two stories:
that the teen was intercepted by Zimmerman, asked "why are you following me?," and was pushed; or
that he came back for Zimmerman; asked, "Do you have a f-ing problem?"; and, when told no, said, "You do now," and leveled Zimmerman.
As for the killing itself, those who are curious know that the only eyewitness who called 911 reported that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling him. Zimmerman was crying out for help. The witness ran upstairs, heard a shot, and saw the guy who was on top dead on the ground.
Zimmerman himself reported that the teenager suddenly confronted him and, after a brief exchange, decked him with one punch. Martin got on top of Zimmerman and began slamming his head against the concrete. The physical evidence corroborated the stories of the neighborhood watch captain and of "John": Zimmerman's back was wet and had grass stains, and he had a broken nose and lacerations on the back of his head. "I was yelling for help and no one came," he told police.
Recently, Zimmerman's father was interviewed by Fox 35, and later by Hannity. He and family and friends who listened to the tape were positive that the voice screaming for help was his son's, he said, and he disclosed a further detail: as George was trying to squirm from the sidewalk onto the grass, his gun was exposed in his waistband. Martin saw it, his father reported, and said to Zimmerman something like "you're going to die tonight" or "you're going to die now." The nineteen-minute interview on 35 is worth listening to in its entirety.
A few days ago I wrote about how little interest there seems to be on the part of the media in reproducing maps of the crime scene. The explanation is pretty simple: looking at a map while listening to the phone call raises some awkward questions about Martin's final five minutes. Some individuals have produced even more detailed maps than the one published by the Sentinel.
According to the audio released by the police, after Martin stared at Zimmerman and began to approach him, the teen took off in the opposite direction, toward the rear entrance of the community and toward the apartment he was staying in. The distance from where Zimmerman began his call, near the mailboxes by the clubhouse, to the apartment of Brandy Green, where Martin was staying, is roughly 850 feet. Someone in good shape could probably run the distance in less than a minute and walk it in two. From the start of Zimmerman's phone call, Martin had about six minutes to get home. But the teenager was apparently not interested in returning to the apartment of his dad's fiancée and reporting the suspicious man to 911. He was shot about 550 feet from where Zimmerman began his call, about 300 feet from Brandy Green's apartment.
As to what happened in the interval between the end of Zimmerman's call and the first 911 call reporting a fight, Dan Linehan offers some plausible speculations, based on what Martin's father Tracy reported being told by the lead investigator and on Martin's girlfriend's account of her conversation with him. (This conversation was not reported until March 20, twenty-three days after the shooting, leading skeptics to claim that it may have originally included some incriminating statements.)
Then there's the matter of what Martin was up to when Zimmerman spotted him. According to the watch captain in his call to the police, the teenager was wandering around aimlessly, staring at the homes, looking like "he was up to no good or on drugs." He was between the rows of townhouses, not walking down the sidewalk. According to the media's scenario, Martin was striding home from the 7-Eleven, clutching the Skittles and the can of tea.
What about the trip to the 7-Eleven? Some people have speculated that Martin didn't even go there, that "Skittles" and "tea" were code words for drugs. But Zimmerman does report him holding something, and apparently the can and candy were removed from the crime scene. The story about the Skittles originated with the lawyer for the Martin family, Benjamin Crump. A spokesman for the law office confirmed that the information came from Martin's girlfriend, and also, he believed, from a call to Tracy Martin. The law office hadn't corroborated their account by looking at security camera tapes or at an electronic receipt from the store.
But a video does exist. The public relations director of 7-Eleven told me that, according to the company's manager of security, a store camera captured an African-American male (she wouldn't commit to "young") purchasing a bag of Skittles and a can of tea (she wouldn't say that it was "Arizona" tea). The hard disk with the video was removed after the story broke, and it has been subpoenaed by investigators for the state and/or county. The company has not made it available to the media. The public relations director could not specify the exact time of the purchase but said it was between 6:00 and 6:30.
The 7-Eleven, according to maps.google, is 0.8 miles from the entrance to The Retreat at Twin Lakes, a 16-minute walk. There is not much to see or do on Rinehart Road on a Sunday night, and it was raining hard. Even if he was not bringing the tea and Skittles to his stepbrother but was eating and sipping en route, Martin should have arrived back at his dad's fiancée's place before 6:50, and much earlier if he left the store closer to 6:00 than 6:30. According to logs (now deleted from the department's website), Zimmerman called the Sanford police at 7:09:34.
Just as Martin did not go straight home after he first spotted the neighborhood watch captain, so, too, he apparently did not go directly to Brandy Green's apartment from the 7-Eleven. What exactly he was doing between the time he entered the gated community and the moment Zimmerman noticed him will probably never be known. Though there may be some plausible explanation for his behavior, the idea that he was simply returning from a selfless errand when he caught Zimmerman's eye seems less and less likely.
2b)Time to Stop Being Intimidated by the Left
By Steve McCann
Over the past twenty years, the American left has been largely successful in intimidating much of the conservative movement and creating the impression that leftists are much smarter and thus able to stay one step ahead. Things have evolved to the point where every utterance or action by the current titular leader of the left, Barack Obama, is analyzed and dissected by many conservatives as if they were part and parcel of some grand strategy.
In fact, those on the left, including Barack Obama, are not as intelligent as they perceive themselves to be (and often are perceived to be by others), and oftentimes their actions and words are not part of a master plan, but rather symptomatic of either their personal failings or being mind-numbed robots promoting the left-wing agenda.
Recently Barack Obama made some intemperate and absurdly false statements about the Supreme Court and the pending decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Obviously he, as a graduate of Harvard Law School, knows that the Supreme Court has the duty and right to decide the constitutionality of any law passed by Congress. As a matter of fact, anyone who has studied American history and government to any degree would be aware of that fact. Were his remarks part of some grand strategy, or those of a spoiled child lashing out at the possibility that his favorite toy could be taken away by an evil stepmother?
This is not the first time Barack Obama has thrown a temper tantrum. His recent dealings with the Republican House of Representatives on various budget issues and raising the debt ceiling revealed a similar mindset and evoked a torrent of lies, obfuscations, and foot-stomping over not getting his way.
Obama has lamented in public how hard his job is and how even Mother Nature has plotted against him (the tsunami and earthquake in Japan). Not a day goes by without his blaming someone or something else, be it George W. Bush, the Republicans, ATMs, technology, or whatever or whoever is in the headlines for his failures and tribulations. He can, without any qualms, tell deliberate falsehoods about what may be contained in a budget or bill sponsored by the Republicans or about any subject or issue at hand, as his ideologically based objectives are the only thing that matters, along with an inability to accept being questioned or challenged. Further, he appears to be incapable of admitting a mistake or apologizing for his errors.
Any parent or grandparent who has encountered a spoiled child determined to get his way has experienced and seen these traits firsthand.
In an adult, these traits are symptomatic of people who not only have a high opinion of themselves, but have been told throughout their lives that they are special. Having experienced this excessive fawning, such people expect everything in life to go their way and never to be confronted by others with opposing views. In Obama's case, because of his demeanor, speaking ability, and skin color, many doors to the upper levels of society and the power structure were magically opened for him with little or no effort on his part. It can readily be presumed that in his three years of case discussion classes at Harvard Law School, he was never corrected for inaccurate use of basic concepts like "unprecedented" when he spoke up.
As is the case with a spoiled child whose parents consistently explain away and cover for their creation, so too with Barack Obama, as the mainstream media, the entertainment complex, the unions, the Democratic Party hierarchy, and the hardcore left are quick to protect their creation regardless of how much of a fool he makes of himself.
However, Barack Obama is not alone in self-aggrandizement; virtually all those who espouse the tenets of American leftism have an extraordinarily high opinion of themselves. Yet how much intelligence does it take to publically espouse a philosophy designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of mankind: a free lunch for the masses and the acquisition of unbridled power for the self-appointed chosen? None of those who publicly declare themselves "progressives" or "liberals" can explain why socialism has failed wherever it has been tried, except to say that they can do it better and to denigrate those who would dare ask the question.
The leaders of the left sitting in think-tanks, government offices, newsrooms, and faculty lounges, regaling each other demonstrating who may be the smartest in the room, are essentially incapable of initiating an original political thought or having any independence of mind. In the realm of political theory, the only accepted and promulgated ideology is of an all-powerful central government controlling the day-to-day lives of all Americans -- no opposing views, historical facts, or reality are allowed to intrude on these bastions of conformity.
Much of the success the left has enjoyed in recent years has come about through leftists' domination of the so-called mainstream media, whose primary utility has been to execute the tactic of vilifying and destroying those identified as the opposition, all the while promoting the concept that those on the left are so much brighter and caring than the Neanderthals on the right.
What has this selling out accomplished for the media? In a recent poll, 63% of respondents said the media were "politically biased in their reporting"; 66% believe that news stories are often inaccurate; 42% say the press is immoral; and 72% believe that "they [the media] try to cover up their mistakes." Recent events such as the coverage of the Trayvon Martin case will further exacerbate these results and cause the mainstream media to become even more irrelevant, as the alternative media is now poised to dominate the dissemination of news in the United States.
Why, then, do many in the conservative movement accept the notion that those on the left are so much more intelligent and are always in the midst of executing some grand strategy? There is only one grand strategy: seize the reins of power by promising the people anything, and destroy through lies and demagoguery the enemy -- who are whomever the left identifies as such. Which at times can include the judiciary. All else is merely an adjunct or spin-off of that foundational core.
With the 2012 election, it is time conservatives and Republicans stop cowering in the corner and accepting the notion that the left and Barack Obama are so much brighter and well-organized, with a bottomless pit of successful strategies. The current occupant of the White House is not a grand strategist or the smartest man on the face of the earth; in fact, he may be the most dishonest and least qualified president in the nation's history. And the left has but one theme to play, and they do so over and over again.
This theme can be countered through a constant and steady drumbeat of a few major premises. 1) Government cannot create wealth or jobs; 2) only one's neighbor down the street willing to risk all to start up a business can create wealth and jobs as well as income for the government; and 3) the more government taxes and spends, the less money is available for wealth and job-creation.
The American left is in no way different from the Wizard of Oz, who was exposed as a fraud and a fake relying solely on image and reputation. The time has come to draw back the curtain and see them for who they are; they are not invincible.
3)Exclusive: Secret US-Israeli accord to Iran keeping low 3.5 enriched uranium plus 1,000 centrifuges
Washington sources disclose the Obama administration and Netanyahu government have secretly agreed on “Formula of 1,000” as their final concession at the end of the forthcoming Six Power nuclear talks with Iran which starts Saturday, April 14. In substance, this formula would let Iran keep 1,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium up to 3.5 percent and stock 1,000 kilograms of the same grade uranium while, aside from a small amount for medical research, giving up its store of 20-percent grade uranium which can be jumped quickly to weapon quality.
US sources indicate Russia and China have accepted the deal.
According to our Iranian sources, Tehran was informed of this formula through its back-channel contacts with Washington. That is why in Iranian public statements in the last couple of days have harped on the issue of uranium enriched to 20 percent. US-Israeli permission to keep 3.5 percent grade is in the bag before the talks begin, so Iran is treating it as the starting-point for bargaining, not the end result, and concentrating on raising the ante through the negotiating process to come.
The concession Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak made to the Obama administration, to let Iran to continue to enrich uranium, has not been brought before any Israeli government or military forum. Their remarks Sunday, April 8, conveyed the mistaken impression that there were at odds on the nuclear issue in the run-up to international talks.
Netanyahu said Israel would satisfied with nothing less than the total discontinuance of uranium enrichment and the removal of all quantities out of Iran, while Barak’s words came closer to the secret deal with Washington when he spoke of consenting to Iran continuing to produce low-enriched uranium and holding on to a few hundred kilos.
At his meeting with the new Italian prime minister Mario Monti in Jerusalem, Netanyahu repeated that Israel had not changed its position and that the Six Powers must make Iran stop enrichment entirely.
Israel’s position has undergone a dramatic transformation and given in to Iran except for medical research on a major point of principle, i.e. enrichment.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walked through the door this opened for him Sunday night and slapped down three fresh demands which Tehran would put before the Six Power negotiators in Istanbul Saturday:
1. Clearance for the new system about to be activated for converting 3.5 enriched uranium to nuclear fuel rods in the first stage and nuclear plates in the second.
Producing 20 percent uranium from nuclear plates is relatively fast, efficient and cheap.
2. Permission for homemade production of nuclear fuel rods for the heavy water plant under construction at Arak.
This would provide Tehran with the option of plutonium in addition to enriched uranium for making weapons.
3. Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr is now operating at 75 percent capacity under the management of the Russian engineers who built it. Tehran wants Iranian engineers to take over the reactor’s management in full in seven months.
Iran is putting those three demands on the table to counter the US-Israeli insistence on shutting down the underground nuclear plant at Fordow, near Qom.
Sources add that the Israeli prime minister, by giving crucial ground on the major sticking point of uranium enrichment, appears to have calculated that after going the extra mile, Obama will not be able to block Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear sites if Tehran continues nonetheless to play games and cheat the International Atomic Energy Agency and its inspectors.
Netanyahu may have miscalculated the odds. His concession gave Obama enough rope to pull the Iranians to the negotiating table through his back channel to Tehran. That channel will remain open and the US is more likely to be induced by Iranian wiles to make more concessions than it is to give Israel the nod for military action.
3a)'Iran nuclear program must be stopped completely'
The international community must work towards stopping Iran's nuclear program completely, and anyone who believes Iran is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program is "deluding himself," opposition leader Shaul Mofaz told the visiting Italian prime minister on Monday.
He made the comments days before nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers were set to commence.
"The goal standing ahead of the international powers, and especially the United States, is stopping Iran's nuclear program," Mofaz told Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Jerusalem. "Any other option is not enough to ensure world peace and regional stability."
Mofaz's remarks came after a New York Times report said the US could accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Tehran agrees to close its underground Fordow nuclear facility, and transfer out of the country uranium that has been enriched to 20 percent. US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have both mentioned the US could live with a nuclear Iran, as long as its intentions are not aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.
Mofaz - who replaced Tzipi Livni as Kadima head and opposition leader at the end of last month - rejected Iran's insistence that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes only, saying anyone who still believes this claim is "deluding himself."
"The only way to monitor the Iranian nuclear program is to bring it to an end. This is the Obama administration's task and its test," he told Monti.
The opposition leader took a more hardline approach to Iran's nuclear program than the prime minister and defense minister, who both made their own list of demands in the run-up to the international talks, set to take resume in Istanbul on Saturday after previous talks collapsed more than year ago.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with his Italian counterpart in Jerusalem on Sunday, where he told him that Israel wanted Iran to clear out all enriched uranium, stop enriching uranium, and close Fordow, a nuclear facility built deep inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom.
3b)Iran Sends Mixed Signals Ahead of Nuclear Talks
By ALAN COWELL
LONDON — In the diplomatic shadowboxing ahead of a planned resumption of nuclear talks between global powers and Iran, a senior official in Tehran was quoted on Monday as hinting at what seemed to be a modest compromise to partially meet some Western concerns about the country’s uranium enrichment program.
But another high-ranking figure, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted as saying that Iran would not accept preconditions for the discussions. “Setting conditions before the meeting means drawing conclusions, which is completely meaningless, and none of the parties will accept conditions set before the talks,” the Iranian parliamentary news agency quoted the minister as saying, according to Reuters.
Earlier, Fereydoon Abbasi, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, indicated that Iran was prepared to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity “just to meet its own needs” for a research reactor but not beyond that point, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Separately, The Associated Press quoted Mr. Abbasi as saying that Tehran could stop its production of the more refined fuel, once it had stockpiled enough of it, continuing its enrichment at a lower level for the generation of power.
There was no immediate Western response to his remarks. Such offers have been greeted with skepticism in the past, since the West is pressing for Iran to do so much more. The apparent difference in tone between the remarks of Mr. Abbasi and Mr. Salehi seemed to reflect continued debate among the Iranian elite over the handling of the planned negotiations. But it was not immediately clear whether the mixed signals represented a deliberate strategy.
The talks, taking place as Iran faces a tightening noose of economic sanctions that include an oil embargo coming into force in July, are set to begin in Istanbul this week, the Iranian news media reported on Sunday.
The reports followed days of confusion that at one stage looked like a derailing of the negotiations. Even on Monday, disputes seemed to persist over the date, with the Iranian news media speaking of talks on Friday and a European Union official saying that they would take place on Saturday. Other reports had said the talks, which would resume negotiations that were suspended in deadlock in January 2011, would span both days.
The talks bring together Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — along with Germany, the so-called P5-plus-1 countries.
American and European diplomats said that one demand from the Obama administration and its allies would be a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and a stop to the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country.
Western powers would also lay out opening demands for the immediate closure and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, known as Fordo, near the holy city of Qum, the diplomats said. Mr. Abbasi did not refer to that demand.
IRNA quoted him as telling a television station that Tehran “does not require to enrich uranium higher than 20 percent” — possibly a reference to Western concerns that, by processing uranium to that level of purity, Iran has taken an important technological step toward enriching to levels of more than 90 percent needed for a nuclear weapon.
But, he said, Iran has “decided to improve its capabilities” in producing 20 percent-enriched uranium. He did not specify how.
So far Iran has produced only about 100 kilograms of 20 percent-enriched uranium — less than it would need to produce a single nuclear weapon — but it has announced plans to increase production sharply in coming months.
Iran maintains that it produces fuel enriched to 20 percent purity to replenish a small nuclear reactor in Tehran that is used to make medical isotopes. Iranian officials have said in recent months, however, that they plan to produce more of the fuel enriched to 20 percent purity than is needed for the reactor. “They have now produced nearly enough 20 percent to fuel the Tehran research reactor for the next 20 years,” one diplomat in Europe who closely follows the agency’s work in Iran said in February.
Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, while Western leaders say they suspect that Tehran is seeking the capability to built nuclear weapons.
The dispute over the location of the talks centered on Iranian concerns that Istanbul is not a neutral site. Tehran was said to regard Istanbul as compromised because of Turkey’s stance on the crisis in Syria, Iran’s closest regional ally, and Turkey’s support for a NATO shield to block Iranian missiles. Iran had suggested other locations, including Baghdad and Beijing.
But “after weeks of debates, Iran and the six world powers agreed to attend a first meeting in Istanbul,” the semiofficial Fars news agency reported on Sunday, and would hold a second round of talks in Baghdad if there was progress in the initial negotiations.
The discussions play out against a broader canvas as President Obama apparently seeks to achieve through sanctions and negotiations what more-hawkish figures in Washington and Israel maintain can be achieved only by a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
4)The Myth of America's Decline
By Walter Russell Mead
The world balance of power is changing. Countries like China, India, Turkey and Brazil are heard from more frequently and on a wider range of subjects. The European Union's most ambitious global project—creating a universal treaty to reduce carbon emissions—has collapsed, and EU expansion has slowed to a crawl as Europe turns inward to deal with its debt crisis. Japan has ceded its place as the largest economy in Asia to China and appears increasingly on the defensive in the region as China's hard and soft power grow.
The international chattering class has a label for these changes: American decline. The dots look so connectable: The financial crisis, say the pundits, comprehensively demonstrated the failure of "Anglo-Saxon" capitalism. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have sapped American strength and, allegedly, destroyed America's ability to act in the Middle East. China-style "state capitalism" is all the rage. Throw in the assertive new powers and there you have it—the portrait of America in decline.
Actually, what's been happening is just as fateful but much more complex. The United States isn't in decline, but it is in the midst of a major rebalancing. The alliances and coalitions America built in the Cold War no longer suffice for the tasks ahead. As a result, under both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, American foreign policy has been moving toward the creation of new, sometimes difficult partnerships as it retools for the tasks ahead.
From the 1970s to the start of this decade, the world was in what future historians may call the Trilateral Era. In the early '70s, Americans responded to the defeat in Vietnam and the end of the Bretton Woods era by inviting key European allies and Japan to join in the creation of a trilateral system. Western Europe, Japan and the U.S. accounted for an overwhelming proportion of the international economy in the noncommunist world. With overlapping interests on a range of issues, the trilateral powers were able to set the global agenda on some key questions.
Currency policy, the promotion of free trade, integrating the developing world into the global financial system, assisting the transition of Warsaw Pact economies into the Western World—the trilateralists had a lot to show for their efforts.
The system worked particularly well for America. Europe and Japan shared a basic commitment to the type of world order that Americans wanted, and so a more cooperative approach to key policy questions enlisted the support of rich and powerful allies for efforts that tallied pretty closely with key long-term American goals.
It is this trilateral system—rather than American power per se—that is in decline today. Western Europe and Japan were seen as rising powers in the 1970s, and the assumption was that the trilateral partnership would become more powerful and effective as time passed. Something else happened instead.
Demographically and economically, both Japan and Europe stagnated. The free-trade regime and global investment system promoted growth in the rest of Asia more than in Japan. Europe, turning inward to absorb the former Warsaw Pact nations, made the fateful blunder of embracing the euro rather than a more aggressive program of reform in labor markets, subsidies and the like.
The result today is that the trilateral partnership can no longer serve as the only or perhaps even the chief set of relationships through which the U.S. can foster a liberal world system. Turkey, increasingly turning away from Europe, is on the road to becoming a more effective force in the Middle East than is the EU. China and India are competing to replace the Europeans as the most important non-U.S. economic actor in Africa. In Latin America, Europe's place as the second most important economic and political partner (after the U.S.) is also increasingly taken by China.
The U.S. will still be a leading player, but in a septagonal, not a trilateral, world. In addition to Europe and Japan, China, India, Brazil and Turkey are now on Washington's speed dial. (Russia isn't sure whether it wants to join or sulk; negotiations continue.)
New partnerships make for rough sledding. Over the years, the trilateral countries gradually learned how to work with each other—and how to accommodate one another's needs. These days, the Septarchs have to work out a common approach.
It won't be easy, and success won't be total. But even in the emerging world order, the U.S. is likely to have much more success in advancing its global agenda than many think. Washington is hardly unique in wanting a liberal world system of open trade, freedom of the seas, enforceable rules of contract and protection for foreign investment. What began as a largely American vision for the post-World War II world will continue to attract support and move forward into the 21st century—and Washington will remain the chairman of a larger board.
Despite all the talk of American decline, the countries that face the most painful changes are the old trilateral partners. Japan must live with a disturbing rival presence, China, in a region that, with American support, it once regarded as its backyard. In Europe, countries that were once global imperial powers must accept another step in their long retreat from empire.
For American foreign policy, the key now is to enter deep strategic conversations with our new partners—without forgetting or neglecting the old. The U.S. needs to build a similar network of relationships and institutional linkages that we built in postwar Europe and Japan and deepened in the trilateral years. Think tanks, scholars, students, artists, bankers, diplomats and military officers need to engage their counterparts in each of these countries as we work out a vision for shared prosperity in the new century.
The American world vision isn't powerful because it is American; it is powerful because it is, for all its limits and faults, the best way forward. This is why the original trilateral partners joined the U.S. in promoting it a generation ago, and why the world's rising powers will rally to the cause today.
Mr. Mead is a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College.